A Guide to Affordable Workwear

In every man’s wardrobe there should be the following: a blazer, button down shirt, dress pants, ties, black/brown belt, and dress shoes. Together, these articles of clothing encapsulate the workwear wardrobe. With men growing up attending special occasions, interviews, internships, then eventually the permanent workforce, it is imperative to always have wearable work clothes. Although carrying an expensive connotation, there are several places one can find it for cheap that have become more accessible than ever! However, in light of this accessibility, it is still imperative to stick to fundamentals when to putting together a proper and cohesive work wardrobe. Because of this I will be highlighting where to find today’s most fashionable and affordable workwear, along with noting some details to pay attention to when assembling a workwear wardrobe that compliments you.

Workwear, unlike the majority of a man’s wardrobe, should be treated as an investment. Your white button down shirt holds a lot more value than any of your t-shirts. This is not to say that you should break bank on a white button down, but once you have purchased one, make sure to take care of it to ensure it is not vulnerable to damage. Workwear can be delicate. Some of the smallest details that make it so fresh can easily undergo wear and tear. There are two necessary button down colors: white and blue. Below are listings from two of my favorite places to find these core color button downs:

https://m2.hm.com/m/en_us/productpage.0686564001.html

Now that the tops are figured out, the next thing to pay attention to is your dress pants. The three colors that compliment our button downs are navy blue, black, and khaki. With the combination of these pant colorways and our button downs, we now have 6 combinations of top and bottom that work for almost every formality. Luckily the same retailers selling our tops have steals for bottoms too.

https://www2.hm.com/en_us/productpage.0384482006.html

https://m2.hm.com/m/en_us/productpage.0384482002.html

In regards to ties there are a great amount of choices that come with these shirt and pant combinations. Some of my favorite combinations are the following:

White shirt/navy pants/yellow tie

Blue shirt/navy pants/red tie

Blue shirt/black pants/navy tie

Ties can be purchased from from anywhere and everywhere. Most of my ties I inherited from my father’s collection. You can find ties for disgustingly cheap at thrift stores and boutiques. Just make sure they have no sort of damage to them. Ties are one of the most delicate piece of workwear and are most easily susceptible to damage. One thing however that should be paid attention to is the way your tie works with your body type. For those that have broader shoulders a thicker necktie looks best. Those whose shoulders are not as broad should stick with slimmer ties. Although this is a minor detail, it is one that should be taken into consideration when you dress yourself in workwear. Why wouldn’t you want to look your absolute best?

When purchasing your belts you must factor in the color of your dress shoes and vice versa. The two colors for these are brown and black. What is most important is that they always match colors. If your belt and shoes do not match it is far too noticeable. Workwear is like a uniform in this sense. All parts have their purpose and come together for a specific type of look. If these rules are defied it is unsightly. When buying a belt the most affordable way to make sure you always have a black and brown belt is to buy a reversible. The reversible black/brown belt has become one of most convenient inventions in men’s fashion. They can be purchased on Amazon for less than $20.

While it is relatively easy to find affordable dress shoes, you must find a pair that work the best with your work wear style. While some people’s style warrants a classic pair of loafers, others look best with a pair of professional looking boots that fit and compliment our outfit well. The best way to figure out which shoes work best is to notice how the bottom of your dress pants interact with them. If the way your pants sit on your shoes looks awkward, try a different shoe . Luckily, dress shoes are made to look best with workwear. So fret not if the first pair or two of shoes don’t work because there is definitely a dress shoe style that will work for you. Side note: find comfortable dress shoes. Some can be very uncomfortable and you’ll find yourself having to wear them longer than expected. My favorite dress shoes are made by Clark’s and Cole Haan: companies that have executed an ideal balance of comfort, style, versatility and affordability. Below are listings for both:

https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/1915118/cole-haan-benton-leather-wingtip-derby-ii-wide-width-available?color=BLACK

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0792D3N29/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_lFHpDbJ2MJTS3

Lastly we have the blazer, the last article you put on before your outfit is complete. Buying a blazer should be treated as an investment. This is a jacket that will last you hopefully at least a few years and several occasions. You want to make sure that you do not buy any ordinary blazer. Take the time to make sure your blazer fits you well before purchasing. One thing to pay attention to especially is the way it fits your shoulders and arm length. If the blazer shoulder fits slightly past your shoulder and works with your arm length, the likely hood is it is one that will look good on you know, and you will be able to fit as you continue to grow a little. To get fitted for a blazer I would suggest going to a Men’s Wearhouse where they can tell you your measurements. Men’s Wearhouse and Burlington Coat Factory are also two of the leading workwear retailers, and always have several suits and blazers on sale on their websites.

https://www.menswearhouse.com/p/tommy-hilfiger-navy-tic-slim-fit-sport-coat-13LM13LN71

https://www.burlington.com/b/mens-traditional-stretch-fit-2-button-navy-plaid-suit-jacket-463187410.aspx?h=57367,57418,57431

Some of my favorite places to shop for my workwear are the following:

Ralph Lauren Polo Factory/Outlet

Tommy Hilfiger Outlet

Zara

H&M

Uniqlo

These are the places I tend to find the best deals on all my workwear besides blazer and dress shoes. This post is timed well because these stores all have back to school sales coming in the near future. While these sales are catered towards younger kids, keep in mind that they make clothes for people of most sizes. Therefore, if you go to the right place you could end up taking advantage. A complete set of proper workwear adds up to a total of around $300. Not too bad for some of the most important clothes in your wardrobe. Although this might be a tad expensive, it is important to keep in mind these clothes’ longevity. Most of my workwear has been in my wardrobe for more than two years. My blazer has lasted four so far. If you enjoyed this post or found it to be informative, please like it below. Don’t forget to follow me to see what I post about next!